Authors Posts by Bill Landon

Bill Landon

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With four pins in the match, it was Ward Melville’s Nick Gaffney who led the way for the Patriots with a pin just 16 seconds in. Aidan Toomey did it in 33 seconds, senior Co-Captain Daniel Cassera won his match at the 1:09 mark and Ethan Herschander pinned his opponent 43 seconds into the second period.

With scores like those, the Patriots dominated visiting Hampton Bays, winning 59-14 in a non-league matchup at home Jan. 23. Ward Melville junior Matt Cracchiola, at 126 pounds, notched another win with a 16-0 technical fall who surpassed his 100th career victory earlier in the year and hopes to bring that momentum into the league and county finals. Patriot head coach Garrett Schnettler said Cracchiola will have his work cut out for him as he’ll be competing in the deepest weight classes in the state.

Ward Melville sophomore Christian Lievano, at 99 pounds who in his third year on varsity, is undefeated in Suffolk County this season, and has amassed a career record of 31-3.

The Patriots retake the mat in the Wes Dolon Invitational at Mattituck high school Feb. 1. First bout is 8 a.m.

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Central Islip had a score to settle with the visiting Patriots Jan. 21, having lost to them earlier in the season at Ward Melville.

Central Islip surged ahead by 21 points midway through the third quarter when senior Giancarlo Serratore had the hot hand for the Patriots to close the gap to a single point with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in regulation. Central Islip avenged that loss by holding on to win it, 60-58. Serratore hit three triples, netted four from the floor and sank four free throws for a team high 21 points. Senior Myles Brown scored nine, and Ted Bliznakov, also a senior, banked eight, while teammates Jack Holland and Paul Otto Nicholson had six points apiece.

The Patriots are back in action Jan. 24 at home against William Floyd. Game time is 6 p.m.

The loss drops the Patriots to 4-3 in League I and 10-5 overall with five games remaining before post season play.

 

The Northport Tigers looked to continue their winning ways against the visiting Newfield Wolverines who were on a five-game winning streak and win they did, with a 75-36 victory Jan. 16 to remain atop the League III leaderboard.

Northport senior co-captain Danielle Pavinelli led the way in scoring for the Tigers with four from the floor, four triples coupled with six rebounds to lead her team with 20 points. Senior Kelly McLaughlin, also a co-captain, netted 18 and teammate Sophia Bica banked 10.

Newfield sophomore Megan Spina sank five from the floor along with a triple for 13 points, and Raiyah Reid, the eighth-grader, tacked on 10.

The win lifts Northport to 7-0 in league, 12-3 overall, with six games left before postseason play. The loss drops Newfield to 4-3 in league, 9-3 overall with eight games remaining.

 

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Mount Sinai sophomore Gavin Takacs (L) fights for the rebound at home against Sayville Jan. 18. Photo by Bill Landon

The Mount Sinai Mustangs fell behind 22 points in the 2nd quarter Jan. 18 but battled their way back against Sayville at home to retake the lead a by three in the closing seconds of regulation. It was then that Sayville senior Aidan Arnesen hit a 3-point buzzer beater to force overtime. Mount Sinai surged ahead in the overtime period holding off the Golden Flashes to win it 62-57 at home.

Head coach Ryan McNeely said his team has had some close wins and some close losses but that the close losses were in league play.

“We beat them earlier in [the season] so these two teams matchup very well, but I think our guys are tired of losing those close games,” said the coach. “We’ve got a lot of seniors who’ve been to the playoffs except for [one] year and I think they want to get back to that.”

Mount Sinai senior guard Ryan McNeely, the coach’s son, led his team in scoring with 17 points and talked about the rematch.

“The last time we played them it was very close-we won in overtime, so we knew we could beat them,” said the senior. “Coming into our gym we always play well, we had to keep our composure and we knew we could make a run.”

Mount Sinai seniors Justin Rinck netted 14 points and Nick Cergol banked 10.

The win lifts the Mustangs to 4-7 in League VI, 7-8 overall with five games remaining in regular season play.

Ward Melville powered its way to a 25-point lead over Longwood at the half and from there never looked back, coasting to a 79-52 League I victory at home Jan. 14.

Ward Melville senior Myles Brown led the way, scoring 22 points followed by senior Jack Holland who netted 20 for a potent one-two Patriot offense. Senior Giancarlo Serratore’s strong fourth-quarter performance notched 14 points and teammate Paul Otto Nicholson, also a senior, hit four from the floor for eight.

The win lifts the Patriots to second place tied with Central Islip, two games behind Brentwood who sits atop the League I leaderboard at 6-0.

With six games remaining before postseason play begins, the Patriots have a brief respite before they hit the road to take on Central Islip Jan. 21. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

 

Battling for second place in the league, Smithtown West had the measure of Newfield at home, holding off the Wolverines late game surge to win it, 69-56, Jan. 11.

Matt Behrens led the way for the Bulls, hitting six field goals and four from the line for 16 points. Brandon Rivera netted four from the floor, a triple and a free throw along with teammate T.J. Smith who didn’t miss from long distance, draining four treys for 12 points apiece.

Newfield senior guard Colin Cassara went eight for eight from the charity stripe along with two triples and a pair of field goals for a team high 18 points.

The win lifts Smithtown West to 4-1, 11-2 overall, one game behind Northport who sits atop the League III leaderboard.

The loss drops Newfield to 2-3, 6-6 overall.

Both teams were back in action Jan. 14 when the Bulls hosted Half Hollow Hills East and Newfield hit the road to take on Huntington. Results were not available at press time.

 

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Port Jefferson sophomore David Ford battles in the paint in a non-league matchup against Southold Jan. 13. Photo by Bill Landon

Port Jefferson went toe-to-toe with Southold on their home court, but the Settlers found their rhythm in the final 8 minutes with their three-point play to edge the Royals 50-38 Jan. 13. Port Jefferson freshman Drew Feinstein led the way for the Royals hitting five from the floor, three triples and a free throw for 20 points. Luke Filippi the sophomore, went 2 for 2 from the line along with five field goals netting 12.

The loss drops the Royals to 0-3 in league VII and 2-8 overall. They will retake the court Jan. 15 at home against Southampton. Tipoff is at 6:15 p.m.

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Ward Tucker drives the lane for Harborfields in a 60-29 blowout win over Islip Jan. 10. Bill Landon photo

After a sluggish 1st quarter, Harborfields’ boys basketball team found its stride in the 2nd and pulled away for a 60-29 Tornado blowout over visiting Islip in a league V matchup Jan. 10. Harborfields senior Joe DeSimone led the way nailing four triples, two field goals and sinking three from the line for a total of 19 points. Sean Keys, a junior, followed with eight from the floor and a free throw for 17. Juniors Ward Tucker and Aidan Glackin netted nine points apiece, while adding two points each were Sean Dowd, J.J. Desiderio and Matt Torres. The win lifts the Tornadoes to 4-4 in league and 6-5 overall.

Harborfields retake the court Jan. 13 when they host Rocky Point and will hit the road two days later against West Babylon. Game times are 6 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. respectively.

 

Newfield searching for that first League III victory made short work out of visiting Copiague, winning the game, 59-40, at home Jan. 4.

Eighth-grader Raiyah Reid led the way for the Wolverines throwing down five field goals, two triples and four free throws for a team high 20 points. Sophomore Gina Oliveira sank a pair of 3-pointers and three from the line for nine points, and Chinelle Nelson, a junior, banked eight.

The win lifts Newfield to 1-2 in league and 6-2 overall. Newfield was back in action when they hit the road Jan. 8 to take on crosstown rival Centereach. Results were not yet available at press time.

 

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The Patriots of Ward Melville extinguished the Flaming Arrows of Sachem East in a 48-38 victory in a League I matchup on the road Jan. 2. 

Senior Morgan Wenzler topped the scoring charts for the Patriots with nine field goals and a pair from the line for a team high of 20 points. Freshman Julia Greek followed with three scores, a triple and three from the free-throw line for 12, and senior Jamie Agostino banked 10.

After a Jan. 4 win against Brentwood and a Jan. 7 victory over Longwood, the Patriots are 6-0 in the league and 10-2 overall.